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Weddell Sea - Emperor Penguin Voyage

From: $11300
11 days • Level 1 (Details)Weddell Sea - Emperor Penguin Voyage
The Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage is one of the most spectacular Antarctic adventures around. This 11-day expedition cruises aboard the 116-passenger M/V Ortelius and offers the unique experience of close Emperor penguin encounters at their more secluded rookeries via exciting helicopter rides. Finish the voyage passing through the South Shetland Islands.

An Emperor pengu
in rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island, below Hope Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula and James Ross Island. The captain of the vessel will do his utmost to position the vessel close enough to Snow Hill Island in order to enable ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to approximately 45 minutes walking distance from the Emperor penguin rookeries. If you and your expedition leaders succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime experience.

The Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage reserves three days to visit the Emperor rookeries by helicopters. If successful at seeing Antarctic penguins the first two days, an alternative landing in the Weddell Sea on the third day will be offered, such as Paulet Island to visit a fantastic Adelie penguin colony with approximately 1 million breeding pairs. Here, we illustrate a typical itinerary to the Weddell Sea, but note that the expedition may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. This is a true Antarctic expedition, so flexibility is paramount.
read more The Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage is one of the most spectacular Antarctic adventures around. This 11-day expedition cruises aboard the 116-passenger M/V Ortelius and offers the unique experience of close Emperor penguin encounters at their more secluded rookeries via exciting helicopter rides. Finish the voyage passing through the South Shetland Islands.

An Emperor penguin rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island, below Hope Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula and James Ross Island. The captain of the vessel will do his utmost to position the vessel close enough to Snow Hill Island in order to enable ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to approximately 45 minutes walking distance from the Emperor penguin rookeries. If you and your expedition leaders succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime experience.

The Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage reserves three days to visit the Emperor rookeries by helicopters. If successful at seeing Antarctic penguins the first two days, an alternative landing in the Weddell Sea on the third day will be offered, such as Paulet Island to visit a fantastic Adelie penguin colony with approximately 1 million breeding pairs. Here, we illustrate a typical itinerary to the Weddell Sea, but note that the expedition may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. This is a true Antarctic expedition, so flexibility is paramount.
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Day 1 - Embark Ushuaia, Argentina

Days 2 - 3 - Drake Passage

Day 4 - Weddell Sea

Days 5 - 6 - Emperor Penguin Rookery

Day 7 - Devil Island, Vega Islands or Hope Bay

Day 8 - Half Moon Island

Days 9 - 10 - Drake Passage

Day 11 - Ushuaia, Disembark


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Day 1 - Embark Ushuaia, Argentina

In the afternoon embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
dinner

Days 2 - 3 - Drake Passage

During these two days, sail across the Drake Passage. Once across the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may meet Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black-browed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 - Weddell Sea

Sail into the Weddell Sea and if the Antarctic Sound is accessible and the ice does not prevent sailing further, you may see the huge tabular icebergs that announce the arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. An Antarctic Continent landing at Brown Bluff is offered.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Days 5 - 6 - Emperor Penguin Rookery

The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach the Emperor penguin colony, but the itinerary is ruled by the forces of nature, ice and weather conditions. If the conditions are favorable, intend to spend the first two days in the Emperor Penguin rookery. The helicopter operation will take a full day and the flight duration takes approximately 15 minutes. The helicopter can accommodate 6 passengers per helicopter flight. The landing point of the helicopters will be carefully chosen and as to make sure that the Emperors are not disturbed or stressed by helicopter noise. Therefore, after arrival you will continue the expedition on foot. After a walk of approx. 45 minutes, experience a rendezvous with the magnificent Emperor Penguins. Keep in mind that you will be in the world’s most remote area and there are no guarantees, including a specific amount of helicopter time. Conditions may change rapidly, having its impact on the helicopter operation and passengers should understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 - Devil Island, Vega Islands or Hope Bay

If conditions were favorable on both day 5 and 6 and we have successfully visited the Emperor Penguins, we may decide to visit Devil Island, Vega Island or Hope Bay. If we have not reached the Emperor Penguin colony on one or two of the previous days, try again offering ship-to-shore helicopter flights to Snow Hill Island.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 - Half Moon Island

In the morning plan to visit Half Moon Island to see Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, various other bird-species and Southern Elephant Seals and Weddell seals. Early in the afternoon, sail to Deception for the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum cove.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Days 9 - 10 - Drake Passage

In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of the ship's lecture team.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
M/V Ortelius
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11 - Ushuaia, Disembark

Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
n/a
MEALS:
breakfast

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife encountered. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Arrival & Departure

The Weddell Sea and Emperor Penguin Voyage begins and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina. Embarkation time is between 4:00 – 5:00pm on day of departure. We strongly advise all passengers to arrive the night prior to departure and get a hotel in Ushuaia to avoid baggage and flight delays. The ship sails around 6:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 8:30 – 9:00am. Plan flights to depart Ushuaia anytime after noon on the final day. Get a free flight quote.

Activities

Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours roundtrip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. The Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage has the special added activity of helicopter rides to Emperor penguin rookeries. The vessel will be equipped with a minimum of two helicopters. The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support the goal to reach the scheduled landing sites, that otherwise are inaccessible. But, these voyages are operated in the world’s most remote areas, ruled by the forces of nature. Providing the conditions, such as but not limited to ice and weather conditions, are suitable, the captain of the vessel will position the vessel at a safe and (for the helicopters and helicopter pilots) feasible distance from the intended landing site. Every passenger who participates in those mentioned voyages, understands and accepts that no guarantees can be given, including a specific amount of helicopter time. For further information contact AdventureSmith Explorations.
Book This TripAsk an ExpertWeddell Sea - Emperor Penguin Voyage Route Map

Weddell Sea - Emperor Penguin Voyage Route Map


Start/End DateShipPrice per Person
1       Nov 25 - Dec 05, 2014Ortelius$11300 - $15700View Details
Quad Porthole

Quad Porthole - $11300

Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have porthole windows, two sets of bunk beds and private facilities.
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Triple Porthole

Triple Porthole - $12500

2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, and private facilities.
Book This Cabin
Twin Porthole

Twin Porthole - $13250

Ortelius has 27 twin porthole cabins: #334 and #339-340 located on Deck 3 and #428-439 and #445-456 on Deck 4. Each has a porthole window, private toilet and shower and two single lower berths. Cabins located on Deck 4 are quieter than those on deck 3 because they are farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Deck 4 has access to the forward observation deck.
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Twin Window

Twin Window - $13550

Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, private toilet and shower and two single lower berths. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
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Twin Deluxe

Twin Deluxe - $14250

Ortelius has 2 newly renovated twin deluxe cabins #510 and #528 located on Deck 5. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins. Each cabin has three view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
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Superior

Superior - $15700

Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
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2       Dec 05 - Dec 15, 2014Ortelius$11300 - $15700View Details
Quad Porthole

Quad Porthole - $11300

Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have porthole windows, two sets of bunk beds and private facilities.
Book This Cabin
Triple Porthole

Triple Porthole - $12500

2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, and private facilities.
Book This Cabin
Twin Porthole

Twin Porthole - $13250

Ortelius has 27 twin porthole cabins: #334 and #339-340 located on Deck 3 and #428-439 and #445-456 on Deck 4. Each has a porthole window, private toilet and shower and two single lower berths. Cabins located on Deck 4 are quieter than those on deck 3 because they are farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Deck 4 has access to the forward observation deck.
Book This Cabin
Twin Window

Twin Window - $13550

Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, private toilet and shower and two single lower berths. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin
Twin Deluxe

Twin Deluxe - $14250

Ortelius has 2 newly renovated twin deluxe cabins #510 and #528 located on Deck 5. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins. Each cabin has three view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin
Superior

Superior - $15700

Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin


 
3       Nov 26 - Dec 06, 2015Ortelius$11550 - $16150View Details
Quad Porthole

Quad Porthole - $11550

Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have 2 porthole windows, 2 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Book This Cabin
Triple Porthole

Triple Porthole - $12800

2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have 2 portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Book This Cabin
Twin Porthole

Twin Porthole - $13550

Ortelius has 27 twin porthole cabins: #334 and #339-340 located on Deck 3 and #428-439 and #445-456 on Deck 4. Each has two porthole windows, private toilet and shower, two single lower berths, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. Cabins located on Deck 4 are quieter than those on deck 3 because they are farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Deck 4 has access to the forward observation deck.
Book This Cabin
Twin Window

Twin Window - $14150

Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin
Twin Deluxe

Twin Deluxe - $14800

Ortelius has 2 newly renovated twin deluxe cabins #510 and #528 located on Deck 5. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins. Each cabin has three view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin
Superior

Superior - $16150

Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin


 
4       Dec 06 - Dec 16, 2015Ortelius$11550 - $16150View Details
Quad Porthole

Quad Porthole - $11550

Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have 2 porthole windows, 2 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Book This Cabin
Triple Porthole

Triple Porthole - $12800

2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have 2 portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Book This Cabin
Twin Porthole

Twin Porthole - $13550

Ortelius has 27 twin porthole cabins: #334 and #339-340 located on Deck 3 and #428-439 and #445-456 on Deck 4. Each has two porthole windows, private toilet and shower, two single lower berths, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. Cabins located on Deck 4 are quieter than those on deck 3 because they are farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Deck 4 has access to the forward observation deck.
Book This Cabin
Twin Window

Twin Window - $14150

Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin
Twin Deluxe

Twin Deluxe - $14800

Ortelius has 2 newly renovated twin deluxe cabins #510 and #528 located on Deck 5. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins. Each cabin has three view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin
Superior

Superior - $16150

Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Book This Cabin


 

Included

All meals aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; free use of rubber boots aboard Plancius & Ortelius and snowshoes aboard Plancius; group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); all shore excursions and activities by zodiac; ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed); lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges.

Exclusions

Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance, including mandatory emergency evacuation insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

If world fuel prices will reach or exceed US $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, we reserve the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per night per passenger, to be paid.

Room Configuration

Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a quadruple, triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth or berths goes unsold, you will not be penalized. For those who desire single occupancy, cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the Twin or Superior cabin rate.

Families & Children

Children under 16 years old receive a 40% discount in Superior and/or Triple (with 2 adults) and/or Quadruple cabins (with 3 adults). Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
90 or more days - 20% of the total price
89 to 60 days - 50% of the total price
59 to 0 days - 100% of the total price

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
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Ortelius

Ortelius

The 116-guest M/V Ortelius is an ice-strengthened small ship designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. She offers passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program to spend as much time ashore as possible.
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Trip Reviews

OVERALL: 4 stars ACCOMMODATIONS: 4 stars MEALS: 4 stars

Overall Trip Review

I think you have a unique trip with the Emperor Penguin Weddell Sea voyage. I wanted to see the Emperor Penguins and was glad that we were lucky to have 1 attempt successful despite the weather being touch and go. I most enjoyed the Emperor Penguin Rookery, Helicopter Sightseeing and Landings (Brown Bluff, Half Moon Island, Deception Island). Met great people and will likely keep in touch with a few of them. Some lectures did not give enough background on the science (e.g. penguins), the rest were great.

Meals Review

Reduce salt.

Crew & Guides Review

James (geologist) very passionate about the science and geology of the continent. Anjali - love her energy. Jim - great sense of humour and very knowledgeable, would make a great expedition leader. Christian - great overall knowledge of the continent. Victoria - loved her history lectures, learned a number of things and great recommendations on books to read. Delphine - very professional. Brent - funny.

Traveler Advice

This is an extraordinary trip and travelers have to be prepared for the unexpected and the guarantee of success in reaching the emperor penguins.

E. Rosal - Etobicoke, ON, Canada